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GRAHAM WALLAS

(1858-1932)

HUMAN NATURE IN
POLITICS (1908)
GRAHAM WALLAS
Born: May 31, 1858 Sunderland, England
Died: Aug. 10, 1932 London

Received his education at Shrewsbury School Christi College, Oxford.


Started as school teacher, but later on became a famous scholar.
Was appointed head of the department of Political Science and taught for
about 30 years.
Served for about 20 years on the Senate of the London University
Showed his interest in practical politics.
- He believed that people do not always behave in a rational
way.

- He held that it was even dangerous for politician to assume


that people behave intelligently and always calculate what
to do.
POLITICS is largely a matter of
subconscious processes of habit and
instinct, suggestion and imitation,
and only slightly of conscious reason.

He was not an irrationalist. He did not exclude


reason or intelligence completely from
political life
HUMAN NATURE IN POLITICS

- An appeal for more understanding of the psychological


aspects of political behaviour

- An attempt to interpret political phenomena in terms of


psychological forces than in terms of form and structure.

- The study of politics must not be separated from the study


of human nature
VOTING BEHAVIOUR
In Politics men act under the immediate
stimulus of affection and instinct.

Affection and interest may be directed towards


political entities. Their minds act like a
harp, all of whose strings throb together,
so that emotions, impulse, inference, are
often simultaneous and intermingled aspects of
a single mental experience.
Politicians exploit names, images and
symbols to secure the votes of the people.

Voting for a particular party does not


indicate that one has given it after an
impartial examination of the whole problem.
Votes are given as the name of a particular
party arouses the sympathy of the voter.
However, Wallas was not anti-democrat. He
did not advise the people to leave
everything to the most intellectual process.
He argued that the best intellects may
themselves be the victims of suggestions;
leaving matters to them would not
necessarily improve matters.
SOCIAL EQUALITY IN DEMOCRACY

- He questioned whether representative


government was indeed democratic.

- Wallas advocated reform of the electoral


system so that an election would become the
agency for forming an intelligent opinion.
DOCTRINE OF LIBERTY

considered LIBERTY highly essential for the


successful working of democracy..
POLITICAL REFORMS

Considered the present working of


government as burdensome and uncreative. He
pointed out to the discrepancy between the
structure and functions of government.